Kano restates commitment to eradicate polio

Acheme Jack, Kano

 

Kano state government north western Nigeria has reiterated its commitment to eradicate polio disease from the ancient city, despite dwindling income occasioned by fall in global price of oil.

The governor gave the assurance while speaking during the 2016 mid-year review of routine immunisation in the state, in a video conference with the president of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Mr. Bill Gates and the President of the Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote

Governor Ganduje promised to continue to provide political leadership in the programme management as well as in social mobilisation.

“We revitalised our Internal Revenue agency to avoid over dependence on Federal allocation and ultimately to ensure sustainability of our Polio eradication efforts,” the governor asserted.

To ensure that data collection and other aspect of the anti Polio campaign are not compromised, the governor gave the assurance that he will be personally involved in ensuring accurate data collection in subsequent rounds of immunization in the state.

He reaffirmed his administration’s resolve to ensure total eradication of polio in Nigeria through prompt release of funds and efficient tracking of routine immunization.

Ganduje stated that he was impressed by the commitment of the state Emirate Council to eradicate polio, and commended development partners for their untiring support to rid Nigeria of Polio.

On his part, Alhaji Aliko Dangote promised that his organisation would release its counterpart funds for this year’s MOU, to facilitate smooth execution of the programme.

He congratulated Kano state government for a job well done in immunisation efforts and commended Kano Emirate Council for its determination to guarantee the wellbeing of the citizenry.

Mr. Bill Gates, who spoke from his office in the U.S, described the provision of “about 484 cold chain facilities in Kano as a big step in the vision to make Nigeria Polio free.”

He, however expressed concern over reports of outbreak of measles in the state, in recent times, saying the government must take firm steps to check the trend, and gave the assurance that Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation would maintain its contribution to the tripartite agreement on Polio eradication.

It would be recalled that a three year memorandum of understanding was signed in 2012 between the three partners Kano State government, Bill & Melinda gates foundation as well as Dangote Foundation in an effort to curb Polio virus in Nigeria. The MOU is expected to end this year and the state Government is to take full ownership contributing 100% to the basket fund to ensure sustainability. Kano is the only state that got an extension of one year because of the milestones it recorded the programme in Nigeria.

Nnenna.O